Feeds

Take us to Mars, Beagle team says

Next-generation craft unveiled

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

The team behind the lost Beagle 2 lander has outlined plans for a third generation craft, Beagle 2: Evolution, that could yet go to Mars.

Although the European Space Agency did not ask the team for new ideas, Professor Pillinger is keen to present the idea to the space agency as soon as possible. The team hopes the lander could be incorporated into the Aurora programme's so-called demonstration mission.

Pillinger says that his team has learned from the mistakes made of Beagle 2, and have incorporated all that learning into the new design.

Some things will be the same: for instance, the lander will still have a robotic arm with most of the experiments on its far end. A gas analysis package that will test for signs of microbial life will be inside the main body of the craft. Finally, the team says it has been considering including chips that can detect amino acids.

The craft will be the same shape, but because solar cells are more efficient now, it will fold out into just two panels, instead of four. The panels will now unfold in a fan-fold style, the team explained. This means that although the communications antenna will still be inside the casing during the flight, once the panels are unfolded, it should always be pointing upwards.

The team is also considering an external, X-band communications system that would give mission scientists on Earth real-time information on the craft's journey, particularly its descent through the Martian atmosphere.

Rather than using bouncing ball airbags, the team is considering so-called deadbeat airbags. These are easier to test, and mean that the craft won't bounce all over the Martian surface when it lands. Instead, the airbags inflate underneath it just prior to landing, and deflate on impact. ®

Related stories

Lack of cash killed Beagle 2
NASA rules out Beagle resurrection
UK backs Aurora Euro space programme

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Boffins: Behold the SILICON CHEAPNESS of our tiny, radio-signal-munching IoT sensor
Single ant-sized Stanford chip combines radio, 'puter, antenna
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Drones swarm over bearded Brit billionaire's island getaway
Just to take lovely pictures though, after Richard Branson invests in 3D Robotics
Chelyabinsk-sized SURPRISE asteroid to skim Earth, satnav birds
Space rock appears out of nowhere, buzzes planet on Sunday
California blue whale numbers soar to historical levels, say boffins
Still far too many of them being struck by US ships, mind
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.